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Nature Weekly
Short Notes on Nature Singapore

4 January 2015 | Hanguana neglecta |

photo While browsing the Straits Times this Monday, a familiar plant picture caught my attention. It was an understorey plant found at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve (BTNR). The focus of the write up was on recently discovered, new plant species in Singapore where 3 of them were highlighted with their pictures included. The particular understorey plant in which I was specifically interested was known as Hanguana malayana in the past. Most people that came along that path at BTNR would have seen this plant since the colony was located just by the side of the track and the plants were fruiting regularly. With the published of an article in the journal Phytotaxa last month, the plant is named as a new species, (Hanguana neglecta). The name "neglecta" served as a reminder that its identity had been "neglected" the last 15 years since its first discovery in 1999.

In the article, the fruits were described to be "ripening semi-glossy black". This is the interesting part because I had seen another Hanguana species with fruits ripening in red colour. Before reading this article, I had thought that this species is the same as Hanguana neglecta. With this renew interest, I dug through the pictures taken at BTNR since 2008 and rearranged my photo deck in my website to correctly reflect this newly named species. At the same time, I pieced together the pictures of the unknown Hanguana species that bear red fruits. As an attempt to unveil its identity, I wrote to the corresponding author of the article. Hopefully, I will get some leads from the authors. One potential candidate is Hanguana loi which bear red fruits.

Below are some pictures of both Hanguana neglecta and the unknown Hanguana species for comparison:

Hanguana neglecta:
photo photo photo photo
Unknown Hanguana species:
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With BTNR temporary closed for maintenance for 2 years from 15 September 2014, I will have to patiently wait till its reopening to be able to further explore these plants since they are only found at BTNR.

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